This week, I want to talk about seeking approval. We all do it but it may be hurting our mental health. Let’s discuss why.
As kids, we were probably conditioned to do what we’re told, be polite, and try to please the people around us. This usually meant our parents, but it could be any adult in our sphere of influence. It doesn’t matter who it was. This was just expected. We were taught to seek approval from an early age.
Ways For Seeking Approval
There were so many ways to the idea of seeking approval. Here’s a small list:
- Getting good grades
- Do well at a sport or other extra curricular activity
- Respect everyone around us, especially those who were older
- Find a good circle of friends
- Do anything our parents asked us to do like chores, etc
The point here is to show that when we are young, we are always wanting to have the blessing (approval) of those around us. Hell, we may have even sought it from our friends or other peers. If we did what our peers did, they probably liked us. It made our lives a bit hectic.
Something I’ve taught myself in recent years is that I don’t need everyone’s approval. In fact, my husband tells me all the time that if I am comfortable with my choices, I should pursue them. That’s not to say he won’t give his thoughts sometimes and I respect that. Additionally, I ask my parents for their advice too even though I’m 40 years old. In my opinion, you’re never too old to get a different perspective. You just might learn something! Keep in mind that also doesn’t mean that I’m going to always go with the advice given but it helps me to understand all of my options.
Wanting approval from others is a normal part of being human. Constantly vying for said approval can be draining on your mental health. Check out this article from a while back on how to foster new beginnings and how it can make your mental health better.
Reflecting on my own journey with seeking approval, I realize how much energy I wasted on it. Living your life on your terms is what you should do. I’m not saying to ignore good advice. In fact, just the opposite.
Well, that’s it for this week. Next time you seek approval from anyone but yourself, stop and think if you REALLY need that person’s approval or if it’s simply out of habit. Until next week be well and namaste!